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Brian Kemp addresses the crowd on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Christina R. Matacotta)

Gov. Brian Kemp joined the University of Georgia College Republicans in a Wednesday Zoom call to answer questions from students and rally support for Republican candidates for the November election.

“Certainly from an election standpoint we’re in a real fight right now to make America great again and to continue to save our country from the radical left,” said Kemp.

Kemp has been outspoken about the “radical left” since the outset of his campaign for governor in 2018, where he made national news for his shotgun-cocking, chainsaw-ripping campaign video. Kemp’s video illustrated the portrait of an outspoken conservative and staunch critic of bureaucracy. 

In his message to the College Republicans, he criticized Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden, saying Biden’s economic policies will “ruin the great American comeback.” 

While the stock markets pre-pandemic rose under Donald Trump’s presidency, the federal budget deficit increased to $1 trillion, according to Forbes.

“We’ve got to be the red wall and stop the blue wave that the national press is trying to convince everybody that we’re going to be having here [in Georgia],” Kemp said.

Kemp drove home his argument that current Democratic politicians are not the same southern Democrats he served with in the decade prior. 

“It’s really the radical wing of their party that has taken control and pushed things like the new green deal [Green New Deal] and defunding the police, getting rid of school resource officers, having government-run healthcare and really just trying to ruin our economy,” Kemp said.

UGA College Republicans Chairman Alex Huskey asked the governor about his efforts to remain a competitive Republican politician in a state expected to become “majority minority.” 

According to a tweet by Jennifer Peebles, a data journalist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, new census data shows Georgia’s population dropped to just 54.1% white andnon-Latino, down 3.2 percentage points from 2010. 

If that change continues at the current rate, Georgia will be a majority-minority state by about 2028.

Kemp said he plans to competitively campaign in the Asian, Latino and Black communities, not to pander to those individuals and sell them on the Republican agenda. 

Kemp also said he has been a man of action when it comes to hiring with diversity in mind.

“If you look at the appointments I’ve made,” Kemp said, “a lot of state boards that have never had a minority on there, or didn’t have one at the time. We have appointed really good conservatives that are minorities to those boards.”

The governor gave an example of his appointment of Commissioner John King, the first Hispanic statewide official in Georgia’s history, and Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

The governor also discussed the state of the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia. He said the number of COVID-19 cases was “trending in the right direction.”

“Thankfully our citizens have heeded the advice of our public health officials,” Kemp said. “I know you guys have been working hard to do that on campus.”

While the amount of new COVID-19 cases has remained steady in Athens-Clarke County, the state of Georgia reported 9,149 new cases from Oct. 12-18, up from 8,484 the week before. This is the highest number of new cases since late September. 

Kemp remained relentlessly positive about the COVID-19 situation in the state.

“Hopefully we’ll get back to seeing you in person soon,” Kemp said. “I know you guys are ready for that.”